For Sunday, August 23rd

A Message from our Clergy

Our spiritual journey is, well, a journey. And it really never comes to an end. C.S. Lewis once said that every time he thought he “got” God, “God got bigger.” How true that is.

For those of us on the journey, there will be times when we reach an uncomfortable place. When we get to a thing that makes us say, “oh, oh, I may be a little lost now.” When this happens to me, I turn to my spiritual director. My director is someone I trust and to whom I can bring my questions and explore.

I have always thought that the title “spiritual director” was an overstatement of their role. They really should not be “directing” us anywhere. They are meant to be conduits for the Holy Spirit and someone who sits with us in our questions. They are more of a “spiritual companion” on this journey. But they are incredible in what they can bring to us. They allow us to discern where God is moving in our lives more clearly. For that alone, it is well worth it.

If you have never tried spiritual direction, I encourage you to do it. It’s even easier now with zoom technology. Just make sure that your director is trained in this art. For me, it was a three-year university program to get my certificate. Make sure yours is trained. A bad spiritual director can cause much damage. After all, they are in with you on your most precious relationship: you and God.

To find a trained director, you can go to the website for Spiritual Directors International ( Those listed there have been trained and have made a commitment to a code of ethics as well.

I pray that your journey may be filled with wonder and awe as you respond to the call from God.


The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija

Latino Ministries

The Latino Ministry Committee is hosting Fr. Eric Law at our next meeting, August 24, 6:30 PM, via Zoom.  Our topic will focus on how to increase our membership and find ways to serve the local Latino Community in this COVID-19 period.

If you would like to attend, or if you have questions, please contact Bonnie Stroock (760-324-7949).

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, August 27th
12:00 p.m.

Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.
Password: 085627

Or, join by phone: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 101-690-960#
Password: 085627

Book Club is Zooming!

The next Book Club meeting will be held Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 1:00 PM, via Zoom; meeting logistics to follow.

For September, Book Club has selected Shiner: A Novel by Amy Jo Burns. In West Virginia coal country, two women vow to protect each other at all costs and one young girl must defy her father to survive.

New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at

St Paul on Facebook

St. Paul in the Desert has a new Facebook email address.Is there an event, or someone or a group you think deserves attention, recognition and/or promotion?  St. Paul’s now has a portal where you can present your suggestions:  This email address is set up to receive your newsworthy submissions.  Please include a brief narrative and, if possible and appropriate, enhance your text with a digital photo or some graphic art.  (Always be sure to have permission to use the artwork submitted.)  We look forward to hearing from you!

Forward Day by Day

Daily devotional booklets for August/September/October are available for pick up at the Parish Office.  Although St. Paul’s campus is not open for regular business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may pick up your copy of Day by Day at the Parish Office by appointment only between 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM, weekdays.

Please call the church (760.320.7488) to schedule a pick-up time/date that works for you and the church office staff.

Prayers of the Church

For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby; pray for the Church of the Province of South East Asia, The Most Rev. Melter Tais, Archbishop of South East Asia and Bishop of Sabah.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, Bishop.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the clergy and people of St.  Andrew’s by-the-Sea, San Diego; for the children and teachers of St. Andrew’s Preschool.

For our Parish in Transition: Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP p. 818)

For those commended to our prayers:  Lori Burns, Craig Goodrich, Virginia & Lauren Mason, Rosalie Markley, Keith Rasmussen, Maricela Hines, Natalie Lewis, Ivory Murrell, Irene Savannah, Evelyn Simpson, Jo Birdia Dauphine, Terri Miller-Steele, the family of Zachary & Carolyn Scott, Betty Muhleck, Brian Nealy, Barbara Nussbaum, Norma Westaway; for all families in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, especially those essential workers in high contact/high risk jobs, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: Dan Barber, William Mason, Donald Wells.

For those with Birthdays:  August 23: Kathy Holloway, Hap Blaisdell, Lyn Pease; August 24: David Smith; August 25: Kathy Kilmer, Brian Bishop; August 26: Amber Mendivil, Robert DiBella, Andrea Randall; August 28: Mark Nelson; August 29: James Harrod.

For those celebrating their anniversaries:August 24: Ramon Gueits & McLeaman Legg; August 27: Fred Ross & Gary Hiatt; August 29: Bob Edgerly & Bob Warburton, Tammy & Jim Farnklin.

Send us your Prayer Requests via email — You may request prayers, “For those commended to our prayers” or “For those who have died,” by sending requests to

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select August 23rd.

Daughters of the King Prayer List Requests

St. Paul’s Order of the Daughters of the King chapter maintains a confidential prayer list, praying daily for our families, friends, congregation, and the world. If you would like to ask the Daughters to pray for you or someone else, email your requests to  Confidentiality of this list means that names on our list are not shared beyond our chapter members and Chaplain.

Questions? Contact Patty Kiker, 214.497.3034

August 12, 2020

The Transition Teams have been busy creating final drafts of both the Parish Profile and the Office of Transition Management Form. These documents will be critical as we move forward through the Rector search/selection process.  Both contain considerable, in-depth information that will help introduce our parish to future Rector candidates. After the draft documents are finalized by the Transition Teams, they will be reviewed by Vestry leadership and Parish Administration, and then passed along to the Diocese for approvals.  It is a lengthy and deliberative process. We ask for your continued prayers.

The Parish Profile and Search Process Teams

A Gift of Prayer for Transition from the Daughters of the King: Almighty and ever living God, hear our prayers for this parish family. You renewed us during Advent to receive Christ’s presence and You are preparing our parish for a renewed mission and vision. We thank you for the leadership of our interim rector, our Vestry and the members of our Transition Committee. We invite you, Holy Spirit, to guide and empower us and our Transition Committee as we begin the tasks of choosing a new rector for this parish. Grant that these servants become faithful companions to each other, to the vestry and to this Parish. We pray that you grant all of us the wisdom and discernment to choose a faithful pastor, who will help us continue to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

View the Transition Updates Archive

Be informed – know your risk during COVID-19

We borrowed this risk chart from the Texas Medical Association.  It is intended as a guide, prepared by physician experts, to help people make smart and educated choices of activities to pursue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  The chart was prepared by the TMA COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infectious Diseases.  Please assume that participants in these activities are following currently recommended safety protocols when possible.

Click image to enlarge.


Fraud Email Alert

A recurring threat to churches is email-based impersonation scams targeting key personnel. The scheme involves cybercriminals mimicking clergy or other staff through the use of phishing emails. Criminals typically pose as personnel in positions of authority and ask victims to perform money transfers, pay invoices, or to send the attacker sensitive data. Scammers will often manipulate the “from” email address and name so that it appears to be coming from someone you know.

Churches and dioceses across The Episcopal Church and across other denominations have been a target of these email impersonation attacks. Scammers use a free email account (such as Gmail) and register it with an impersonated name. They then send an email to an unsuspecting recipient asking for immediate help in order to get a task done (such as purchasing a gift card or wiring money). Attention to detail can be a lot of help in combating cases of impersonation. Users should check sender details carefully. Any suspicious email message should be investigated before replying. Also, proper attention should be given to the message content, including attachments and URLs.

While there is no way to stop these scams, you can minimize risk by taking these steps:

  • Check the return email address. If the address doesn’t match the name of the sender, be wary.
  • Never open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Be wary of generically addressed emails like “Dear Friend” or Dear Customer.”
  • If there are links in the email, hover over them without clicking on them. This will show where the link will actually take you.
  • Be wary of email with grammatical or spelling errors in the text.
  • Check the address at the bottom of the email. If it says ”Pastor Jim” and Jim never goes by “Pastor,” it’s fake.

Finally, if after all these steps it looks safe and the sender is asking for money or access to secure data, call the person directly to get verification.

Your best defense for this is to simply delete the email; do not click on any links or reply to the sender.

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Report clergy misconduct

As part of our ongoing commitment to creating a safe haven for everyone, our diocese trains people in the prevention of misconduct and encourages all to report misconduct. All reported incidences are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and confidentially. If you believe you have experienced misconduct of any kind, please contact John Seitman, 858-793-4555 or Equilla Luke, 760-583-0485.

Compassionate Care Task Force

Our diocesan task force on compassionate care for victims of clergy sexual misconduct seeks to connect with those who have experienced misconduct. If you have reported clergy sexual misconduct and have information about the reporting or post-reporting experience that could be helpful to their work, please refer to the task force members, all of whom are listed on the diocesan website: Task-Force. Information on how to report misconduct is available here.

Church Office Hours

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Parish Office is closed to the public until further notice.

Office phone: 760.320.7488

If you call, please leave a message.  In case of emergencies, a priest will return your call.

Bullying Behavior Not Welcome Here

At St. Paul in the Desert we welcome all worshipers to a place that is free of violence and bullying.

Physical, verbal or emotional violence against others or against oneself is not acceptable because of our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.  Please let Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself be your guide.

“It Gets Better” is a series of video messages to encourage Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender youth and let them know that they are loved as they are.

“A Blessing for Those Who Are Bullied” was written by the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, a Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

It is not enough to say “NO” to bullies. It is important to stand up for people and to provide resources for those who have been the targets.

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